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Matt Palmer,  New York City

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Matt Palmer

Matt Palmer

Senior Lecturer
Columbia University
New York, NY USA

Dr. Matt Palmer is a faculty member in the department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology at Columbia University. His research interests are in plant community ecology, with emphases on conservation, restoration and ecosystem function. Previously, Matt worked on the effects of microtopography and plant interactions on centimeter-scale diversity patterns in fens of the New Jersey Pinelands. His current research is on the community dynamics and ecosystem functions of urban forests and green roofs, the population biology of rare plants, and the effects of forest canopy disturbance on understory structure and function.

June 16, 2013
Two coyotes in a park in New York City, photographed by a motion-triggered stationary camera.  Photo credit: Gotham Coyote Project

Urban parks and green infrastructure are often touted for their benefits in providing for urban biodiversity. There have been several posts about this subject in this blog—by Tim Beatley, Thomas Elmqvist, Russell Galt, Bill Sherwonit, Bob Sallinger, and others—and it’s clear that a core of scientists, designers, planners, and community leaders are doing great work … Continue reading Valuing Urban Wildlife: Critical Partners in the Urban System or Scary, Disgusting Nuisances?

January 16, 2013

Cities are melting pots.  I expect we understand this metaphor best as it relates to human beings. Cities around the world grow because people keep moving into them.  People move from nearby rural areas, from other regions in the same country, or from around the world.  When they arrive, they bring their skills, their beliefs, … Continue reading Our Changing Urban Nature: Time to Embrace Exotic Species? (Or at Least Some of Them)

August 14, 2012
coyote with pups

The world is losing its biological diversity – or biodiversity – at an alarming rate. The primary force driving this is habitat degradation. When the places where animals, plants, fungi, and the myriad other organisms live are converted to other uses, conditions change and the prior residents often move on or die. The two major causes … Continue reading Discovering Urban Biodiversity